In my experience, I find that poor posture is often the result of muscle imbalances. As a result some muscles are too tight and become shortened, while others become permanently elongated and weakened. In my clinic I find that many of my clients who work all day in front of a computer often experience the effects of this process. The shoulders become rounded (shortened chest muscles and continuously elongated mid back muscles) with a forward drawn head position (tightness in the back of the neck and lengthening of the muscles in the front of the neck). This leads to a variety of pain patterns and discomfort. Correcting muscles imbalances, and therefore posture, can be achieved in several ways including a tailored massage therapy treatment plan and an individualized exercise program focused on lengthening and strengthening the appropriate tissues.
One of the activities I find helpful for me personally in maintaining and improving my posture is yoga.
Yoga can help improve posture in the following ways:
1) It helps strengthen the muscles surrounding and supporting the spine, which makes it easier to maintain good posture.
2) It enhances your body awareness, which helps you to be more conscious of your posture throughout your day.
3) It improves the flexibility of your spine, which allows you to maintain good posture through a variety of different movements.
4) It also improves the flexibility of your hips and shoulders, which helps to maintain good posture without placing strain on the muscles and joints.
My yoga teacher Wendy Pelletier is fantastic and has helped me to maintain and improve my posture in the months I have been taking her classes. If you are interested in yoga helping your posture visit her website for class details. http://www.orangeyogastudio.com/
For those of you who are at a desk all day it is important to take frequent breaks to move and stretch your body.This will help relieve the tension in your neck, shoulders, and arms. The following link is to a site that includes stretches that you can perform at your desk throughout the day to help improve your posture and prevent repetitive strain injuries.